Statement from President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness regarding wildfires in Northwest Territories


VANCOUVER – August 17, 2023 – Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, issued the following statement:

“The wildfire situation in the Northwest Territories has continued to worsen and is now threatening multiple communities, including the City of Yellowknife. Our thoughts are with residents who are being asked to evacuate and those who have already left their communities. This is a very difficult time, and I would like to assure those affected that all orders of government are working together to deliver the required help. To this end, the Government Operations Centre is working with federal and territorial partners to coordinate the response to the situation in the Northwest Territories and mobilize all necessary federal resources.

In response to a Request for Federal Assistance from the Government of the Northwest Territories, members of the Canadian Armed Forces are providing personnel and resources to assist and enable fire-fighting; airlift resources for movement of personnel and equipment, as well as evacuation and logistic support; and support in planning and coordination. Other federal support is being provided by Public Services and Procurement Canada, Indigenous Services Canada, and the Canadian Coast Guard. Numerous other federal departments and agencies are providing support through their own respective mandates to aid territorial and local authorities in fighting the wildfires and with the evacuation efforts in Yellowknife and other communities.

I strongly encourage all impacted residents to follow the guidance from local authorities, including up-to-date information on the fires and possible road closures. Residents of the Northwest Territories and evacuees can call 8-1-1 in the territory and 1-844-259-1793 out of territory if they have questions about evacuations or visit the Government of Northwest Territories’ Public Safety webpage. If an evacuation order is issued or you have to leave your home, be sure to take your essential items with you. For more information on what to include in your emergency kit, visit

On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to thank the firefighters, first responders, Canadian Armed Forces personnel, emergency management officials, and local volunteers working tirelessly to support Canadians in need.”

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Annie Cullinan
Director of Communications
Office of the President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

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